As an educator, my particular genre focuses on multiple things. To say that my profession deals heavily in one specific genre would be inaccurate. Education encompasses multiple genres and discourses. A lot of it depends on what you’re involved in. Some teachers have more responsibilities than others thus increasing the different types of writing they must handle. I don’t want to get across that my job is somehow special because of this. Obviously, there are many professions that require its employees to have multiple responsibilities. In my profession, we have to accommodate our writing for different situations such as lesson planning, communicating with parents, or communicating with colleagues. These three examples highlight how educators must be experts in multiple genres in order to be fully effective in their discourse communities.
Lesson planning obviously is a crucial piece for any educator. We have to be able to set expectations, differentiate, and meet state required standards. Doing this, however, requires us to know the complexities of lesson planning before hand. Lesson planning is a genre in itself. This deals specifically with modes. Gunther Kress says, “The materiality of the different modes— sound for speech, light for image, body for dance— means that not everything can be realized in every mode with equal facility, and that we cannot transport mode-specific theories from one mode to another without severe distortions” (Kress, 39). I have to respectfully, however, disagree with Mr. Kress on this topic. Educators must effectively incorporate different modes together in order to have a successful lesson. This is because not every student is the same. They all learn differently. And when I say all I mean ALL. I have to be able to appeal to my auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. I’ll admit, more times than not I probably appeal to one of those more than the other two. However, if a teacher is not at least attempting to appeal to those learning styles then they simply are not doing their job. For example, when I read Hamlet with my seniors we read the text first then we analyze a particular scene by watching multiple film versions of it. Sure, some students probably don’t need that visual example to understand it, but I would bet that most do. An ineffective teacher that combines these different types of modes would distort the lesson. Educators need to understand how to differentiate for their students first before writing an effective lesson plan.
How I communicate with my colleagues versus how I communicate with students and parents will depend upon the situation. Charles Bazerman, says, “The genres and the activity systems they are part of provide the forms of life within which we make our lives. This is true of our systems of work, creativity, community, leisure, and intimacy… These organized complexes of communications shape our ongoing relationships and identities, and within these complexes we change and develop through our sequences of mediated participation” (Bazerman, 15). I mentioned in the discussion board that this is basically the equivalent of wearing multiple “hats.” Meaning, how I communicate with one person will be different with how I communicate with another. When I’m communicating with my colleagues, I don’t write or speak with them the same way I would a parent. Education encompasses multiple discourse communities and genres because we must be ready to relate with people differently at any given time. For example, how I communicate with my 1st hour students will drastically differ from how I communicate with my 7th hour students. My hour students are still trying to wake up. While my 7th hour students are off the walls because school is almost over. Also, in regards to lesson planning, I can’t necessarily plan one lesson for all my classes. I need to asses where my students are at and differentiate accordingly. As Bazerman said, “we change and develop our sequences of mediated participation.”
The intertexuality in education is crucial. Devitt says, “If each writing problem were to require a completely new assessment of how to respond, writing would be slowed considerably. But once we recognize a recurring situation, a situation that we or others have responded to in the past, our response to that situation can be guided by past responses. Genre, thus, depends heavily on the intertexuality of discourse” (Devitt, 576). Understanding what my students know will help me as I write and conduct lessons. This is why teachers give students pre-tests at the beginning of the school year to assess them on what they know.. Before we can identity the figurative language in our short story unit I first need to teach them about similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole etc. Intertextuality guides everything I do when it comes to lesson planning. It makes me reinforce what my students have already learned so I can build upon it.
Bazerman, Charles. Genre and Identity: Citizenship in the Age of the Internet
and the Age of Global Capitalism. Cresskill: Hampton Press
Devitt, Amy. “Generalizing about Genre: New Conception of an Old Concept.”
College Composition and Communication 44.4 (1993): 573-86.
Kress, Gunther. Multimodality, Multimedia, and Genre. N.p.: n.p., n.d.